There have been a number of times I have had embarrassing wig conversations. People tell me my hair looks good, and I say, "Thanks, it's a wig!" and there the conversation stops. For a while I couldn't understand why. They seemed embarrassed for some reason. Are wigs embarrassing to non-wig wearers? Did they feel conned or something? The expressions on their faces were just sheer horror.
Finally I have worked it out. I think they were suffering secondhand presumed embarrassment. They were embarrassed on my behalf because they thought I was embarrassed. Or perhaps they felt I should have been embarrassed.
There are a lot of expectations that I should be embarrassed. I'm expected to wear transitional wigs, for example, increasingly longer wigs to give the illusion my hair is growing, because otherwise people would have my unashamed wigginess thrown in their faces. God forbid I switch it up and change hair colors for a day.
It's just odd. I'm trapped in this silly deception so I don't generate secondhand embarrassment. Perhaps the next time it comes up I should just describe myself as a proud wig wearer? I don't know. I'll try it next time it comes up.
Yeah. We're "supposed to" be embarrassed about a lot of things there is no good reason to be embarrassed about.
I wonder if some of them were thinking wig=cancer, because that might tilt the conversation weird? Maybe "I wanted thicker hair and thought a wig was more scientifically supportable than the hair growth serums that spam kept trying to sell me..." would work?
Posted by: KC | December 27, 2022 at 11:18 AM
KC - I think yiu are right about the chemo connection. I started saying, "I gave up on my hair and got a wig, and Im so happy about it."
Posted by: theQueen | December 27, 2022 at 02:51 PM
smile sweetly at them and say nothing. A. It makes them crazy and B. it is none of their business and C. their faces can be amusing.
And also this, I would think that one of the very real delights of wig wearing is that you can be a wavy red head one day, long brown hair the next and a curly blond the next. I mean if you are wearing wigs, by choice or not, why wouldn't you get all the fun out of it you can???
Posted by: kate | December 28, 2022 at 08:15 AM
Kate - I thought that too, but it really does make people who see you every day uncomfortable. When I start leaving the house (when BQ and the holiday surge settle down) I think I'l shake things up. Even then, I can't just smile and say nothing and let people go uncorrected. They'd probably worry they'd stepped in it with a chemo patient.
Posted by: theQueen | December 28, 2022 at 12:45 PM
"I gave up on my hair and got a wig and I'm so happy about it" is a brilliant response. 1. clarifies not-cancer, 2. you're happy with the situation, 3. this is a wig. Pertinent information covered.
(if people are being jerks or unwarrantedly intrusive, then yes, feed them an unlimited diet of uncomfortable silence, though...)
Now I'm wondering whether people would adjust better to wig being different if your entire environment is otherwise exactly the same every time, or whether they'd adjust better if everything was different (zoom background, light position, shirt style). I'll admit that I sometimes get confused when people change hairstyles or swap glasses frames or clothing styles, though - a fairly minor change for someone I know well makes my brain try to figure out *what* is different and it does not always compute properly; a major change for an acquaintance and I will be uncertain as to who they are...
Posted by: KC | December 28, 2022 at 07:53 PM